- Toy maker Hasbro, Inc. introduced an interactive version of its popular board game Trivial Pursuit for Amazon Alexa, the voice-activated digital assistant that works on mobile devices and Echo smart speakers, according to a press release. Trivial Pursuit Tap lets people create their own kind of game show competitions at home using Amazon's new Echo Button devices as buzzers that light up in different colors.
- Trivial Pursuit Tap lets players test their knowledge in six categories: places, the arts, entertainment, science and technology, events and sports and hobbies. The Echo Buttons can be pressed to trigger a variety of multiplayer and single-player games available for activation from the Alexa Skills store.
- Trivial Pursuit Tap will launch in the U.S., U.K. and Germany as the first major board game to be adapted for Alexa with Echo Button capabilities. Amazon is selling Echo Buttons in packages of two for $19.99, and as many as four buttons can be connected to a compatible Echo device with Bluetooth.
Amazon and Hasbro are giving people another reason to buy the comparably inexpensive Echo Button devices that expand the entertainment functions of Amazon Alexa. The e-commerce giant has made a major push into the smart speaker market recently, mostly to provide another platform for shopping. The Echo Buttons are a bit of a quirky addition to Amazon's line of Echo products, but they help to transform the device into a centerpiece of entertainment experiences to share among friends and family to further engagement and elevate the capabilities the device offers.
The rollout of Trivial Pursuit Tap lets Hasbro take advantage of the surge in popularity among mobile trivia games, as seen with the viral growth of HQ Trivia. After launching in August for iOS devices, the quiz-show app has steadily built a following of mobile users. They tune in to one of the app's twice-daily, 15-minute game shows for a chance to win cash prizes by answering multiple-choice trivia questions, Fortune reported.
Amazon can continue to sell Echo devices as a loss leader that get people onto its e-commerce platform. The company last month slashed prices on its new lineup of six Echo devices as part of its Black Friday promotion. Its entry-level Dot was cut to $30 from $50, helping make it the No. 1-selling product over Thanksgiving weekend. The new version of Amazon's original Echo speaker now sells for $100, or about half the price from three years ago when it was introduced.
Alphabet was forced to respond with price cuts for its Google Home devices, The Wall Street Journal reported. The tech giant cut the price of its Google Home smart speaker nearly 40% to $79 for a limited time and introduced a lower-priced option, the $29 Home Mini. Apple delayed the launch of its HomePod, which was touted for offering high-quality sound to play music, until after the holiday season. The HomePod's starting price of $349 is greater than Amazon's high-end Echo Show with a video screen that sells for a discounted price of $150 on Amazon.com.